DISTRACTIONS

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Distractions are not hard to find. You don’t even have to look for them, they will find you.

Distractions are for one purpose only; to steer you away from your purpose.

Distractions will steal your vision if you let it.

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You must remember, you have been created for a purpose.

Stop, focus, turn around if you have to, but do not let your feet be moved from the path Christ has put you on. Stay the course and He will direct your footsteps, He will complete what He has started, He will equip you, He will go before you.

If it does not serve the purpose of the vision, let it go. If they do not encourage you or help you stay the course, walk away from them. I know this is for someone, I do not have to give examples, you know what I mean.

Our God is faithful!

Now to Him who is able to [carry out His purpose and] do super abundantly more than all that we dare ask or think [infinitely beyond our greatest prayers, hopes, or dreams], according to His power that is at work within us,  to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations forever and ever. Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21

Be Free & Stay Free

In Light of Eternity

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Psalm 121

I will lift up my eyes to the hills [of Jerusalem]—
From where shall my help come?
 My help comes from the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth.

Jesus emptied Himself for us.

Yet, we keep trying to get more. More stuff, more stuff, more stuff…

When we take our focus off the world, then we can truly put our focus on Him, the Good Shepard, and then we shall not want, because He supplies all our needs, according to His riches and glories.

Desire more of Him. Shift your focus.

Be Free & Stay Free 

Does God Know You?

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There are many who claim they know God. Jesus, Himself, said in Matthew 7  Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven. Many will say to Me on that day [when I judge them], ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, and driven out demons in Your name, and done many miracles in Your name?’  And then I will declare to them publicly, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me [you are banished from My presence], you who act wickedly [disregarding My commands].’

How do you know if you love Him? Jesus saidIf anyone [really] loves Me, he will keep My word (teaching); and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our dwelling place with him.  One who does not [really] love Me does not keep My words. And the word (teaching) which you hear is not Mine, but is the Father’s who sent Me.”

We are known by love. Do you love? Does His heart beat in you? Do you care for the widows and the orphans?  Do you love even when they hate you? Can you lay yourself down for the sake of the Gospel? Are you burdened for souls? When you look at people, do you see them as souls, someone Jesus thought worthy of dying for? Are you more concerned about being right, rather than loving someone? With all the knowledge we think we have, if we do not have love, we have NOTHING.

I ask you, does God know you?

But if anyone loves God [with awe-filled reverence, obedience and gratitude], he is known by Him [as His very own and is greatly loved]. 1 Corinthians 8:3

I plead with you, do nothing else until you know God knows you and then Go and introduce Him to others through your love. Let every good word and deed point others to Him, the Christ in you.

Be Free & Stay Free

For such a time as this

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There is a reason we do not die and immediately go to Heaven when we accept Christ. There is a reason why we, as Believers, are here on this earth, in all this craziness. There is a reason why you have been born into the family you have been born into, why you live where you live, and why you work where you work. It is no accident.

He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their lands and territories.   Acts 17:26

You are exactly where you are suppose to be. He has created you to be where you are, at this time in history, for a reason.

Too often, we think we can not answer His call because we do not have a large platform, or we aren’t eloquent speakers, or we are too poor, or we have a past…

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Can I remind you of two people who also had a past and they were effective in Evangelism because of their testimony. They did not travel the world (although their testimony still speaks to us over 2000 years later),  they did not speak to crowds of thousands, they had no tax exempt status ministry, they didn’t build a mega-church…

You can read about this man by clicking here. (pay attention to vs. 17-19) WOW! What a testimony! The guy had so many demons in him they weren’t even named individually. This guy was so possessed the whole town was afraid of him. But, there was One who spoke to him, only One who set him free of the tormenting demons, and put him back into a right mind; Jesus.

The “former” demoniac was so grateful, he begged Jesus to let him go with Him. But, what did Jesus say? He told him to stay right there and tell everyone what the Lord has done for him. Someone needed to hear his testimony.

Or how about this woman, click here. Here is a woman with a promiscuous past. In and out of marriages, living with a man who wasn’t even her husband, she was the talk of the town. Maybe you know someone like her? Or maybe you were someone like her?

Jesus spoke right to her heart, He went right to the root, healed her, delivered her, and revealed Himself to her. Now, you tell me this woman didn’t have a life changing encounter with God! What did she do? She went and told everyone what the Lord has done for her. There was no more shame or condemnation, the woman was finally free from her past. Because of this woman’s boldness and desire to share what the Lord has done for her, many more were saved. Someone needed to hear her testimony.

Let’s go back to the first scripture I quoted from Acts, surely if God placed you where you are, for this time, then there is a ministry purpose there for you. Does it mean that every time you open your mouth people are going to get saved? Does it mean that no one will ever try to throw your past back in your face?  Nope.

You are here for a time such as this. If it were not so then Jesus would not have said “GO! Preach the Gospel to everyone.”

Someone needs to hear your testimony.

Go ye! Who is ye? Ye is you and me.

These are dark days, my friend. There will be times when you speak His truth you will face ridicule, persecution, and you will even lose friends and family. I want you to remember two things.

  1. You are never alone. He is always with you. You have the power of His Holy Spirit to be His witness.
  2. Even if everyone rejects you, His Word never returns void.

So, instead of hitting that snooze button, hop out of bed and be excited for the divine appointments you will have to share His Good News. Believe me, it is a matter of life and death.

I leave you with this final word from 2 Timothy 4:2-5

…preach the word [as an official messenger]; be ready when the time is right and even when it is not [keep your sense of urgency, whether the opportunity seems favorable or unfavorable, whether convenient or inconvenient, whether welcome or unwelcome]; correct [those who err in doctrine or behavior], warn [those who sin], exhort and encourage [those who are growing toward spiritual maturity], with inexhaustible patience and [faithful] teaching.  For the time will come when people will not tolerate sound doctrine and accurate instruction [that challenges them with God’s truth]; but wanting to have their ears tickled [with something pleasing], they will accumulate for themselves [many] teachers [one after another, chosen] to satisfy their own desires and to support the errors they hold,  and will turn their ears away from the truth and will wander off into myths and man-made fictions [and will accept the unacceptable]. But as for you, be clear-headed in every situation [stay calm and cool and steady], endure every hardship [without flinching], do the work of an evangelist, fulfill [the duties of] your ministry.

And one more reminder from Jesus Himself.

Matthew 28:19-20:

 “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations [help the people to learn of Me, believe in Me, and obey My words], baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,  teaching them to observe everything that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always [remaining with you perpetually—regardless of circumstance, and on every occasion], even to the end of the age.”

Now go!

Be Free & Stay Free 

 

Who is God the Father to you?

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If I ask you, who is God the Father to you, you may have different answers and may even find it easy to answer.  But, if I ask you who are you to God the Father, I think, maybe, we would hear some crickets.

We see the greatness of God, we read His Word and  believe every word to be true (as we should). Yet, some of us struggle when it comes to believing His love for us personally.

Unless we can fully accept and believe His unconditional love for us, His children, then we will always try to perform, we will never feel worthy enough, and we will be motivated by fear.

I have been editing my manuscript, it is a fictional story about a young run-a-way’s journey to salvation. I want to share with you a part of a conversation between the young girl and another character in the story. Just a little background, the girl is a run-a-way, she came from an abusive father. Most of her young life she has been running and scared, always wanting to be loved and accepted, but never knowing the safety of real love.

I think most of us have struggled with the very question this young girl has. It is easier to believe God created the world, parted the red sea, raised the dead, even died on the cross for us, but to believe He loves “me,” well, now that is asking a lot…

If we can fully believe Him, find security in His perfect love, then we would not worry or be anxious for the things we are worried and anxious for. We would fully believe Him when He says, it will all work together for our good.

I submit to you this short conversation. Do you see yourself here?  Have you asked the same question this young girl has asked?

 

“You call God… Father? This is where I struggle.” Sarah said. “I can believe He created the world, I can even believe the story about Him parting the sea, but to think of Him as Father…”

Ruth understood what Sarah was saying. In the short time Sarah has been here, she has shared just enough to know that she and Ruth had come from similar backgrounds. This questioning Sarah had about God as Father, was the same thing Ruth struggled with.

“Sarah, I understand. I had a hard time seeing God as my Father, too.” Ruth said. “Because my own father was not a good father to me. I wasn’t always a Christian. You see, I didn’t really accept Gods love until after I met Paul, it was through Paul God showed me what perfect love is. Before I could fully receive, I was just going through the motions. I was going to church and doing all the Christianly things, but I didn’t truly have an intimate relationship with Jesus. And because I worked so hard at being a good Christian, I just kept failing and beating myself up. I felt like the worlds biggest phony.”

Ruth paused for a moment and then reached over and took the Bible off the nightstand, opened it to 1 John 4:18, then handed it to Sarah. “Will you read this out loud, please?” Ruth asked.

“There is no fear in love.” Sarah began. “But perfect love drives out fear, because fear involves punishment, so the one who is afraid is not perfected in love.”

“Do you understand what this means?”

“No.”  Sarah shrugged, handing the Bible back to Ruth.

“It took me a long time to understand what this meant, even though I quoted it a hundred times.” Ruth said. “Our love is conditional, Sarah, sometimes what we call love isn’t love at all. We have learned, from our experiences starting at childhood, to perform for love. We think maybe if I do this, or say that, or look like this, or you fill in the blank, I will be loved. To us, love takes on the face of the one we want to love us the most and when we are rejected by them, or if the person, your father for example, is a hurt angry person, we are in a constant state of waiting for the other foot to drop. We carry this with us throughout our lives and into other relationships and this is how we begin to view ourselves; as someone who is not worthy of love, even though we want it.”

Waiting for the other foot to drop was definitely something Sarah understood. She was in a constant state of fear and anxiety with her father. She wanted to please him, but no matter what she would do to earn his approval,  he seemed to always be disappointed in her. Then the rare times when things were peaceful in her home, something would happen and her fathers temper would explode like a volcano, sending everyone running for shelter.  Ruth was right, no matter how much distance Sarah put between her and her father, she always felt fearful and anxious.

“Here’s the thing, Sarah,” Ruth continued. “God’s love for us is perfect. He wants only good for us, in fact, all good things come from Him. He doesn’t stand in the shadows waiting for us to screw up so He can punish us.  He doesn’t judge us or condemn us. When we accept His Son, we become His family, His children, and He is a good Father, Sarah. A good Father may chasten us, but He never rejects us, or turns His back on us,or withhold any good thing. There is nothing we can do or say that will make Him love us more, or love us less, He loves us fully, completely, unconditionally. When He looks at us, He sees His Son, He does not hold our past against us, He gives us a bright future. When we can accept and believe how much He loves us, then we will not be fearful anymore. Because we will trust Him and know, no matter what happens, He will never leave us. His love is constant. Then when we truly know this, deep in our bellies, we stop performing and trying to earn His love and approval, because we know He loves us and we have no reason to be fearful. We can be free to be vulnerable and allow His Spirit to heal us from the inside out, without fear. Because He knows us and there is nothing we can hide from Him, but if we give it all to Him, He promises to turn it into something good.”

The conversation left Sarah with much to ponder. As Ruth talked, Sarah could feel a heaviness lifting, almost as if a light bulb was coming on. Through Ruth’s words, it was as if real truth was coming alive and Sarah’s heart began to open a little more. It was as if a door was being opened and she was putting a foot over the threshold.

Later that evening, Sarah lay in bed thinking about what Ruth had said; she could feel the truth in it. Despite all the bad things that have happened, Sarah began to see the good in it. As her mind began to reflect on her past and the people she met, she began to see Gods hand in it all.

“Father.” She whispered. She held her breath and listened carefully; for what, she was not sure. “Father?” She whispered again. She liked the thought of having a Father to look after her. And with that thought she whispered thank you and then drifted off to sleep. 

 

Dear Reader, do you know how loved you are by Him? Is it more than just words and a Bible verse to you? Do you have it deep in your belly and do you believe it? He does love you and He calls you by name. He sees you and He knows you. You are His. You belong.

Be Free & Stay Free

The Kiss of Judas

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Why do we think it so strange when the people we are closest to turn their backs on us? We are living in a time where things are NOT gray, they are black and white, light and dark, the lines are not blurred. We are in a time when people call good evil and evil good. Why do we find this strange when the Bible tells us this is going to happen?

I am writing this post because my heart is heavy and feeling broken. I wont go into details, but suffice it to say, because of the truth of Gods word, I am losing people that were once so close to me. I am no way claiming to be perfect or super spiritual, but I do know Gods word and there are some thing that are non-negotiable. Does this mean I love them less? No! But, listen to me, no matter who it is that is challenging your belief and faith in Christ, you must NOT waiver!

Lately, the persecution is stepping up it’s game. To believe in the word of God you are given a label, and it is not a nice label. You can try to be as loving as possible and explain and defend yourself until you are blue in the face, but the truth is… the time has come to separate the sheep from the goats.

Look, I want to be real with you. This is not always easy, because it is coming from people we love and care for. We may struggle and hem haw around because we do not want to “offend” them or “hurt their feelings,” but I have to tell you, there is something much more at stake here.

We cannot walk around on our tip toes, because if you are a follower of Christ, then you must learn to see as He sees. He did not love people unto their grave and death because He didn’t want to hurt their feelings. He didn’t tip toe around and sugar coat things because He was afraid they would reject Him. He met them where they were (His goodness), ministered to them, and then told them to go and sin no more. He was not afraid to call it out, because He didn’t look at the temporal, He looked at the eternal.

We must look beyond the flesh, beyond the person, and recognize it for what it is. It is an attack from the enemy. Do NOT take it personal! The person through who the attack comes from is being deceived. Have pity on them, have compassion, but do not waiver, stand on the truth!

Think about Judas; he walked with Jesus. He was in the inner circle. He heard the Word through God Himself. He sat at the table with Him. But, he was deceived and betrayed the very One Who held eternal life in His hand. He betrayed the very One Who laid His life down for us.

Why?

Luke 22:2-4 says: The chief priests and the scribes were looking for a way to put Him to death; for they were afraid of the people [who listened devotedly to His teaching, and who respected His spiritual wisdom]. Then Satan entered Judas, the one called Iscariot, who was one of the twelve [disciples].  And he went away and discussed with the chief priests and officers how he might betray Him and hand Him over to them.

The devil saw the weak link and took advantage of it.

The enemy will come at us through the people we love. We think because we are Christian things should be easy. We think if we love someone enough they will see the truth.

But…

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I like how the Amplified says it: Do not think that I have come to bring peace on the earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword [of division between belief and unbelief].  For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law;  and a man’s enemies will be the members of his [own] household [when one believes and another does not].

His Word is offensive to those who do not believe. Because His Word speaks truth and it convicts of sin. Not to torment, but to show a better way, to lead to repentance and salvation. But, for those who are comfortable in their sin, they will reject the truth. The world will tolerate you as a Christian as long as you keep silent. But, we are NOT called to be silent. We are called to be the salt and the light. When someone is in darkness, the light will blind them; they will either adjust their vision to the light, or they will reject the light.

What I am trying to say, is do not be afraid, do not back down. Do NOT beat people up with the Bible, but DO continue to speak the truth. Do NOT back down or sugar coat the truth. Their eternity is far more important than your feelings and what they think about you.

Stay close to Him, my friends. The day is coming to an end. His return is close. Pray for them and give them to God. You are only responsible to speak the truth, not for if they receive it or not. And for pete’s sake, do NOT let the enemy wreak havoc in your mind with accusations of your past, do NOT let him tell you you are disqualified! You are called and chosen. Now GO!

When you are being “labeled,” and when you are being accused, hold fast, even if the accusation is coming from someone as close as Judas.

Be Free & Stay Free

 

What Are You Searching For?

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We look high and low for something to numb us or someone to fulfill us.

Addictions come in many forms. Drugs, alcohol, relationships, impulse shopping, social media, etc…

Because there is that something in each of us that is reserved for Him. He planted it in us. Because He desires an intimate relationship with each of us. He loves us that much and He is a jealous God, that is why nothing or no one can fill that void we have. He said it is for Him.

The beauty of this is…. what we can not do for ourselves, He can and will do it for us.

Look as much as you want… but until you call His Name, Jesus, you will never find what you are looking for.

Come home to Him. He loves you!

Nobody Greater (click here)

Be Free & Stay Free